Put Down The Phone And Live Life

Even though this appeared on Instapundit a few days ago, I felt it deserved another go.

Since I first saw this I have being paying attention and noticed far too many people being almost mesmerized by their smart phones, being someplace without actually being there, as if reality was to be found only on their phones and everything else was merely an illusion. Is it any wonder 'socializing' has shifted from being face to face with people to interacting with them through a phone screen? Is it a problem that more people have their attention being absorbed by games, social networks, or the web on their phones rather than what's actually going on around them?

One of my co-workers agreed with me after viewing the video above, telling me she had seen two of her nieces texting each other even though the were sitting across from each other at a family gathering. Shouldn't they have been talking rather than texting?

I saw something similar here at The Manse during one Thanksgiving, with many of the younger members of the WP clan spending most of their time hunched over their phones, texting their friends during a time they should have been interacting with the family members around them. If they weren't doing that they were engrossed in some game they were playing on their phone. They were physically present but they weren't there. I doubt any of them had much in the way of memories from that otherwise awesome Thanksgiving.

It's not that Deb, BeezleBub, and I don't text. We do, BeezleBub more so than either Deb or I. But we don't do it nearly as much as many around us. Both Deb and I use it to send messages that aren't urgent, usually having to do our schedules or something we need to pick up at the store. If it's urgent, we call. BeezleBub texts with Horse Girl, but usually after he's gotten home from her place some time in the evening. He also uses occasionally it at work as it helps to make sure there are no misunderstandings about what needs to be done, when, and with which farmhands. But that's the extent of his texting. And like me, he has expressed that he has no desire to upgrade his phone to one of the smart phones as he knows it could easily become a distraction.

I'm beginning to think that we have to re-socialize people, starting with banning the use of phones at social events. Either they turn them off or leave them in their cars or coat pockets, or 'check' them with the host. If people are going to be at such an event then they should actually be there and not feeding their electronic communications addiction.